Mobile phone giant Blackberry’s service disruption has led millions of customers to consider switching providers, according to surveys released today.
Users of Blackberry’s, which are produced by mobile firm Research in Motion (RIM), saw messaging and email services disrupted this week following a three-day blackout that effected users worldwide.
Shopping comparison website Kelkoo surveyed 1,075 current Blackberry users and found that 19 per cent are now considering moving to another provider, compared to the 42 per cent who admitted they will consider it when they next change their handset.
Eight per cent claim they have bought a new mobile phone already, highlighting the extent to which consumers rely on their mobile phones for online communication.
In further bad news for the company, 71 per cent of those who claimed that they would continue as a Blackberry customer stated that reassurance from the manufacturer was necessary to maintain their custom as they had been put off by the recent problems.
The disruption to service surfaced just as competitor Apple made its latest addition to the iPhone family, the iPhone 4S, available in UK stores today.
While Kelkoo’s results reveal that 60 per cent of disillusioned Blackberry users are considering a switch to the iPhone, PriceRunner.co.uk, another shopping comparison site, claims that only 2 per cent of the 290 RIM customers questioned were keen to switch to an iPhone.
Respondents were put off by the price of the iPhone, as 49 per cent felt that it is too expensive, while a third claimed not to be influenced by the latest news surrounding the launch.
Alison Guise, MD of PriceRunner.co.uk, said that whatever alternatives chosen by consumers, Blackberry is likely to see a decline in users.
“There’s no doubt that recent issues with Blackberry servers have deterred potential buyers, we’re now seeing a whole range of innovative and advanced phones in the market,” she commented.
“Android boast over half a million apps and manufacturers such as HTC and Sony Ericsson are continually bringing out new models– such as the HTC Sensation and Xperia Ray.
“With so much choice, consumers are able to take their pick and get a phone that really suits them – rather than defaulting to an iPhone.”
Chris Simpson, Chief Marketing Officer at Kelkoo, however, feels that the overall quality of RIM’s service will means its business will not be permanently undermined.
“This week has been incredibly difficult for Blackberry users worldwide, however, Blackberry offers a market-leading product with a unique service, which nearly a third of consumers admit they will not find with any other manufacturer,” he said.
“As such, it has a loyal following and this will stand it in good stead to retain customers. Whilst our research highlights that some consumers intend to jump the Blackberry ship, it could be a very different picture in the coming months when this week’s issues become a distant memory.”